Students and staff from Jupiter Community High School’s Jupiter Environmental Research and Field Studies Academy joined ANGARI crew and Florida International University scientists onboard R/V ANGARI for an action packed day of marine science research and exploration.
September 12, 2023
Palm Beach County, FL
All sharks were fished for, caught, studied and released for research purposes under Florida permits held by Florida International University scientists.
ANGARI crew welcomed students and teachers from Jupiter Community High School’s Environmental Research and Field Studies Academy (JERFSA) aboard R/V ANGARI for the second year in a row! Throughout the day, 14 students had the opportunity to work alongside researchers from Florida International University’s (FIU) College of Arts, Sciences and Education to assist in a variety of field methods used in shark research. Some of the methods students got to participate in included baiting circle hooks, deploying drumlines, a specific type of fishing gear used to catch sharks, and collecting and recording data.
The day took an exciting turn when drumlines were retrieved from the water and a male tiger shark was caught. As the day progressed, so did the students’ luck! As they continued to help deploy drumlines, a female bull shark and male lemon shark were also safely caught and brought back to the swim platform for a work up. Before safely releasing the animals, students got to learn how to identify the sex of each shark, collect length measurements, sample tissue from each dorsal fin and gently attach an identification tag to each animal. All data and samples collected provide valuable information pertaining to shark conservation, genetics and behavior. After a rewarding day of hands-on shark science offshore, R/V ANGARI moved into the Lake Worth Lagoon where a baited remote underwater video system (BRUVS) was deployed. A BRUVS is a noninvasive tool used to study sharks and other marine life by collecting underwater video footage of existing marine life in a set area. After retrieving the BRUVS, scientists shared the footage with the students to observe and identify a variety of species seen on the underwater video.
This expedition was supported by the generous donors of ANGARI Foundation.
Sara Casareto is a Ph.D. candidate in the Marine Community and Behavioral Ecology Lab at Florida International University. Her work focuses on behavioral ecology and trophic interactions. Her current research centers around elasmobranch biology and ecology, looking at different factors that affect juvenile shark behavior and decision making in coastal waters. The specific questions she is interested in involve risk from larger sharks, abiotic factors like salinity and temperature, and the presence/absence of different shark species. Originally from Maryland, Sara has been in Florida since 2016. She holds a B.S. in Biology-Marine Science from the University of Tampa and has studied marine species ranging from sharks to photosynthetic sea slugs. Sara hopes to further her career in predator-prey interactions to help elucidate management and conservation strategies for shark and ray populations. A passionate educator, Sara is involved in outreach through National Geographic and The Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and ANGARI Foundation.